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In Conversation with Keisha Young from Clay & Olive Skincare

In Conversation with Keisha Young from Clay & Olive Skincare

In Conversation with Keisha Young from Clay & Olive Skincare

March 20th, 2023

I don't think we have ever met a brand owner that is a better advert for they company than Keisha Young. Founder of Clay & Olive skincare, she lives and breathes everything the vegan brand stands for and it shines through on her flawless face. However, she is more than just her looks, we spent some time with Keisha to go beneath the surface...

Tell us a bit about Clay and Olive Skincare and your journey to getting where you are today?

My passion for skincare was sparked at an early age as I grew up watching my mother nurture her own skin with a daily ritual that restored vibrancy. My mother, the youngest of seven, grew up on a large farm in rural Alabama. Growing up, she’d watch my grandmother hand craft soaps made from simple ingredients harvested on their farm. Taking key ingredients from simple skincare recipes passed down to me from generations of women in my family, I was able to forge forward to create an exciting vegan and cruelty-free line that unite skin wellness with self-care.

You are literally glowing, a clear testament that your products do as they say on the tin. Walk us through your daily skincare routine.

I am a minimalist when it comes to my daily skincare routine. My day-to-day can be a whirlwind so a skincare regime done in four easy steps (cleansing, toning, serum, and moisturiser) is vital to my lifestyle. However, when it comes to skin rejuvenation, from time to time I may include a DIY facial using a gua sha or freeze globes to help massage away tension. Every winter my skin tends to be on the dryer side so moisturizer is a must. Hydration is super important – my skin loves it! Oh, and I never leave my house without applying SPF.

What has been your highlight since launching the brand?

Creating a community of women who support my brand has been a major highlight for me. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Advocacy is what will set my brand apart from the rest. I have cultivated a tribe of women who are vested in the products, aligned with the brand’s core values and are loyal and loud – sharing Clay and Olive Skincare’s vision.

Describe Clay and Olive Skincare in 3 words?

Clean. Opulent. Wellness

Who is involved in the brand and what are their roles?

My sister Katasha has been by my side in the development of the brand. She has put in a lot of work on the backend to help identify brand core values as well as helping to ensure that quality, effectiveness, and beauty is at the center of the brand. She works tirelessly to ensure our messaging remains consistent and relevant.

Who/what inspires you?

I am inspired by Nyakio Grieco, co-founder of Thirteen Lune. She is the inspiration behind an inclusive beauty and wellness e-commerce platform designed to inspire the discovery of beauty brands created by Black and Brown founders. Her platform gives brands a wider audience to engage and educate, creating a path to generational wealth – the first of its kind.

And in only a short two years later, Thirteen Lune entered an inclusive beauty partnership with 600 JCPenney department stores nationwide. It’s a tremendous achievement done in such a short amount of time. She inspires me to set bold, loud goals and not be apologetic for it because even in a room full of the industry’s elite there is always room for one more.

Are there any sources you go to for support with running your business?

I am currently in an accelerator program created for brands in consumer retail with the goal to accelerate growth for the next generation of black-owned businesses on the path to unicorn status. These programs bring together the best of professional development and industry expertise to collaborate with in addition to a network of other successful founders, major retailers, and investors which will help me unlock the next phase of growth for Clay and Olive Skincare.

What are your plans for the brand in 2023?

We have a bunch of fun partnerships and collaborations with like-minded creators and brands on the way as well as more educational content on our social media platforms.

Did you always know that one day you would be a #Girlboss?

Yes, I always knew I would be doing something special one day and that it would be more than what I could even imagine for myself. This journey I am on is divinely ordered.

If there’s one #Girlboss activity you could get better at, what would it be?

One #Girlboss activity I’m working on improving is my time management. Most recently, I have begun my days by focusing on 90 minutes of uninterrupted work on a task I define as important. That means, no social media, no phone calls, no coffee runs, no disruptions – period. After 90 minutes, I take a short break to recharge and then I’m at it again.

The goal in making this work is to build precise, deliberate practices so eventually my daily action items don’t require much self-discipline. I’ve tried it for one week and it has been a game changer. Over the course of those 90-minute intervals I’ve been intensely focused on my tasks at hand.

For women aspiring to run their own company, what advice would you give?

As a black woman and a business owner, it can be difficult finding a balance between being assertive and being authentic to myself. Coming from a corporate background I often struggled to find the balance of being who I am and during that time I recall shrinking myself and never feeling very good about it.

Now I am accepting that I am confident, bold, talented, aware, and informed – and that I’m worthy to be seated at any table, during any conversation seeking an opportunity. That acceptance has made my journey so much more comfortable.

The advice I would offer to women aspiring to run their own company is to take the time to learn how you want to lead when getting started in your new role as founder/CEO, and then be bold enough to come as you are.

Follow Keisha and her brand to stay up to date with Clay & Olive.

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.